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101 Plumbing Tips, Tricks and Advice You Need to Know

Plumbing is something that every one of us uses and relies on. From our bathrooms to our kitchens, ensuring that all of your plumbing pipes are running smoothly and efficiently is important to your health and happiness. So, here is a list of great plumbing tips, tricks and advice, every homeowner should know!plumbing-840835_640

  1. Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period.
  2. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
  3. Insulate your gas or oil hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment; when in doubt, get professional help.
  4. Install non-aerating low-flow faucets and shower heads, to save major bucks on your water bill
  5. Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it’s best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old.
  6. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.
  7. Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high-temperature settings
  8. A water heater setting of 115°F provides enough hot water for most users
  9. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
  10. If you heat with electricity and live in a warm and sunny climate, consider installing a solar water heater.
  11. Egg shells are a great way to clean garbage disposals
  12. Take egg-shells-706502_640more showers than baths. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
  13. Choose a water heater with an appropriate first-hour rating (FHR) by estimating your family’s peak-hour demand for hot water
  14. Determine the appropriate fuel type for your water heater. If you are considering electricity, check with your local utility company for off-peak electricity rates for water heating.
  15. Natural gas, oil and propane water heaters are less expensive to operate than electric models.
  16. For safety as well as energy-efficiency reasons, when buying gas- and oil-fired water heaters, look for units with sealed combustion or power venting to avoid back-drafting of combustion gasses into the home.
  17. Do not install the water heater in an unheated basement.
  18. Try to minimize the length of piping that runs to your bathroom and kitchen.
  19. If your drain is clogged you can pour half a box of baking soda and ½ a cup of vinegar down the drain, then wait 30-45 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain.
  20. For electric water heaters, install a timer that can automatically turn the hotcloggeddrain water off at night and on in the morning. A simple timer can pay for itself in less than a year.
  21. Toilets and sinks require different types of plungers to remove clogs. Make sure you’re using the correct one.
  22. Take sure to check all of your pipes for leaks, even just a small leak can waste nearly 20 gallons of water per day. Just imagine what a larger leak can do.
  23. Don’t go crazy when using detergents, bleach or other chemicals, overusing these products can kill the natural bacteria that your septic system needs
  24. Septic systems should be checked twice a year, to ensure they’re running properly
  25. Using biodegradable soaps will help you conserve more water
  26. A spring loaded timer that attaches directly onto your outdoor faucet, will help prevent you from over or under watering your garden
  27. Check your water meter when no water is being used then check it again about eight hours later. If your meter has moved, that’s a clear sign that you may have a leak
  28. A leaky toilet can increase your water usages by more than 40%, you’ll want to repair the leak ASAP to save money on your water bill
  29. Have an older shower head? You can save up to 7.5 gallons of water per minute by replacing it with a newer model.
  30. If you suspect a leak in your sink, toilet, water main, etc. turn off the water before attempting repairs
  31. If you have never been trained on how to use an auger, you can cause serious and expensive damage to your pipes.
  32. Keep our number handy: 1-888-9TIGER1. You never know when you’ll have a plumbing emergency.
  33. Don’t overload your garbage disposal with too much food at one time
  34. Remember to use lots of water while running your garbage disposal, to prevent clogs
  35. Never put rice, pasta, bones, corn cobs or beans in your garbage disposal
  36. To stop an overflowing toilet locate the valve behind your toilet and turn it off immediately
  37. If plunging doesn’t fix your clogged toilet, it’s time to contact a professional plumber
  38. Those toilet flushing tabs, are horrible for your toilet and will create major problems down the road
  39. If nothing happens when you flush, it means you have a loose handle or valve
  40. Clogged toilet? Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then try flushing again. Often times this is all you’ll need to do, to fix the issue. Just be ready for the water to overflow if this doesn’t work.
  41. You can also add some hot or boiling water to your bowl and try flushing, to correct a clog.
  42. Adding dish soap to the bowl is another method that might remove a clog
  43. Distilled vinegar can remove hard water stains on your shower head. Just tie a bag of vinegar around your shower head and leave it there for a few hours. Then you can simply wipe away the stains with a cloth.
  44. Letting Coke soak in your toilet, is the easiest way to clean your bowl.
  45.  To clean your dishwasher, pour ½ cup of white vinegar into the detergent cup and simply run the empty machine for one full cycle.
  46. You can use half a lemon to rub away any hard water stains on your
    faucets.
  47. Disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, hair, coffee grounds, toothpaste, food particles, oil from cooking and mineral build up are the most common causes of clogged drains
  48. Small bathroom? A corner toilet is a great way to save space!
  49. Looking to save on your water bill? Place a bucket in the shower to catch water, which you can later use to wash your vehicle
  50. Most newer water meters have an easy to read leak indicator on the face of the dial
  51. It’s a myth that low flow toilets don’t perform as well as regular flow toilets
  52. WaterSense labeled toilets get the job done
  53. High-efficiency toilets do not cause problems with home plumbing systems
  54. WaterSense labeled toilets meet or exceed plumbing standards
  55. High-efficiency toilets are available in a wide range of modelspipe-406906_640
  56. Plastic piping is superior to metal piping in almost every way
  57. Plastic piping  is cheaper than metal
  58. Plastic piping is much easier to install, adjust and tighten if a leak develops, than metal piping
  59. Plastic piping, unlike metal, won’t corrode.
  60. When a metal drain leaks it’s usually a great idea to replace the metal with plastic piping
  61. A clog can often be yanked out with an easy tool like a Zip-It or other flexible-shaft pick-up tool
  62. A wet/dry vac can often suck out a clog
  63. Both tape and dope work equally as well when you’re sealing pipe threads
  64. Tape is only meant for pipe threads, don’t use tape on compressors or other connections
  65. “Plumber’s putty,”  can damage plastic and it can leave stains.IMG_0018 2
  66. You can remove that gross tub ring by sprinkling the tub with salt and taking half a piece of grapefruit use it as a scrubber
  67. Use food coloring, to test for a leaky toilet. Place a few drops in your toilet’s water tank. Wait a few hours, then check the bowl to see if there is any color there. If there is, it’s an indicator that you have a leaky flapper
  68. You can use a wet/dry vac to retrieve items that fall into the toilet
  69. By tying a piece of string around your faucet that reaches down to the drain, you can quiet the sound from a dripping faucet.
  70. The most common causes of dripping faucets are worn washers, bad internal seats or  worn/faulty faucet cartridges
  71. If your water pressure is too high, like over 80 pounds per square inch, for example, it can cause damage to your faucet and create a leak
  72. If your kitchen sink is clogged by grease, you can remove the clog by pouring ¼ cup of dish soap down the drain, wait about 20 minutes and then pour roughly a quart of boiling water in the drain
  73. Pouring chemicals down your drain will corrode the pipes.
  74. The newer, thicker chemicals meant to remove clogs from drains will often cause or worsen clogs.
  75. A pedestal sump pump has the motor attached to the top of a shaft; this motor is not designed to be under water.
  76. A pedestal sump pump works well if you have a smaller diameter basins
  77. Sump pumps usually come with an automatic on/off switch for your convenience
  78. A float switch is the most common sump pump automatic switches.
  79. Sump Pump float switches are designed to raise with the rising water levels your basin and the pump is started after the water reaches a certain level.
  80. Submersible sump pumps are designed to sit in the base of the sump basin, below water level.
  81. Submersible sump pumps are more adapted to larger sump basins
  82. Submersible sump pumps are typically quieter than pedestal pumps.
  83. To determine the size of sump pump you need, you must know how much water you’ll need to be pumped, how high the water will be pumped and the length and size of pipe.
  84. Do not assume that having a large horsepower sump pump will be the best choice for you, do your research before buying
  85. A large horsepower sump pump, in a small diameter basin, will cause the pump to cycle more frequently, shortening your pumps life.
  86. Pump capacity charts are available through professional plumbers and installers or pump manufacturers or they can be found on the web.
  87. When installing a sump pump, it is usually recommended that a check valve be installed, this prevents water left in the outlet pipe from flowing back into the basin
  88. Some check valves can be attached to the sump pump itself, while others are placed farther up the outlet pipe
  89. A dedicated electrical circuit should be used for the sump pump. Most pumps have a high amp load when starting
  90. Do not use an extension cord to plug the pump into the outlet
  91. To maintain a sump pump, periodically check the system.
  92. Make sure the float in your sump pump is free of obstructions
  93. Observe the outlet on your sump pump to make sure water is actually being pumped
  94. Listen for unusual noises when your sump pump is running, strange sounds are signs something is seriously wrong
  95. If a sump pump fails, and water gets into the basement, do not attempt repairs without first turning off the power to all basement outlets.
  96. If you call a plumber right when you first notice a leaky faucet you’ll likely only need a simple, small repair, but if you wait a few months, the leak will worsen and cause more damages leading to more costly repairs
  97. Watching home improvement shows and reading DIY plumbing blogs, doesn’t make you a master plumber. Plumbers spend years training and learning the plumbing trade, it’s best to leave big plumbing issues to the professionals and save yourself a headache.
  98. A leaky toilet can waste enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in one year. Now just imagine what that is doing to your bill
  99. Many toilets really do run only at night; that’s because people use much less water during these hours and in many municipal water systems, the water pressure rises considerably during this time
  100. If you only notice your toilet running in the middle of the night, there is a good chance that the water level in your tank is set too high
  101. If you have plumbing concerns call 1-888-9TIGER1 or visit TrustTiger.com to have a plumber address and issues you may have.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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Myth or Fact? Plumbing Urban Legend Edition

There are some pretty interesting urban legends out there when it comes to Plumbing. But which of this legend are myths and which ones are rooted in fact? Prepare to find out once and for all!

1. Snakes Biting People On The Toilet

Have you heard the stories of snakes crawling up people’s toilet pipes and biting them when they go to use the restroom? Well, if you’re sitting there thinking that this has to be a plumbing myth, then think again. Snakes entering your bathroom through the toilet is a plumbing fact.

While rare, snakes can and have, slithered their way into people’s homes, via the toilet.  Snakes can gain access to your plumbing in a few different ways, butsnake-660781_640 homes with a crawl space are the most vulnerable. Snakes love crawl spaces and if there is a hole or large enough crack in one of your pipes, a snake can easily slide right in. Then it’s just a short distant from there to your toilet bowl.

Plus, damaged or cracked pipes can cause a lot more serious plumbing and financial issues. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the condition of your pipes examined, it might be time to contact a licensed plumber, to ensure that your pipes are hole free!

2. Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

There is a popular theory, that you can keep the blades in your garbage disposal sharp, by grinding up ice cubes. This is a plumbingabstract-18722_640 myth.

At best, ice cubes might clean the blades in your disposal. So, if you notice a strong odor coming from your sink, you might consider tossing a few cubes in your disposal to see if that helps.

3. Water Flushes  In Different Directions In Different Hemispheres

The Coriolis Effect, makes water flush counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and
clockwise in the southern hemisphere. No, no it doesn’t, this is a huge plumbing myth.

The Coriolis Effect, really only applies to large bodies of water. Toilet bowls are just too small for the Coriolis Effect. The only thing that determines the direction water flushes is the design of the toilet.

4. Egg Shells Clean Garbage Disposals

Grinding up my morning egg shells will help keep my disposal clean and oplumbing dor free. Egg lovers rejoice, this one is a plumbing fact.

Go ahead a toss those egg shells in your disposal. They are one of the few items, soft and safe enough to go in the disposal, that will actually help keep it clean.

5. Flushable Wipes Are Fine To Flush

I can flush my Flush-able wipes down the toilet with no problem. After all, why else would they be called Flush-able? You might want to think twice about tossing those wipes in your bowl. This is a plumbing (and advertising) myth.

Keep this in mind, just because you can flush it, doesn’t mean you should flush it! Regularly flushing these so called Flush-able wipes down your toilet will cause major plumbing issues that will cost you major bucks

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8 Bathroom Cleaning Hacks, Using Household Items

Let’s face it; your bathroom is probably the dirtiest room in your home. No matter how hard you scrub, how many expensive cleaning products or chemicals you buy, your bathroom never seems clean enough. (And that’s not even taking into account all of the germs and bacteria you don’t see!)bathtub-54587_640

Well, there’s good news! Cleaning your bathroom doesn’t have to be a big expensive chore anymore. You can easily deep clean your whole bathroom, with common items already found in your home. You’ll love how these time and money saving tips transform your dirty old bathroom, into one of the cleanest rooms in your home.

  1. Floss Away Grime

Doesn’t it seem that no matter how hard you scrub around your faucet; you can never get rid of all that grime collected around the base? The answer is to stop scrubbing and start flossing. That’s right, simple dental floss is the key to ridding yourself of unsightly grime. Simply take a long piece of floss, wrap it around the base of your faucet and floss away! Once you’ve completed your flossing you just have to wipe away the loosened grime from around your faucet.

2. The Lemon Trick

Remove old water stains from the chrome in your shower, by gently scrubbing them with a lemon. Your faucets will look like brand new!

3. Hassle Free Exhaust Fan Cleaning

Now the exhaust fan may not be high on your cleaning checklist, but a clean exhaust fan means there is less dust and debris floating around, which will improve your air quality. Additionally, a clean fan will perform more efficiently and you’ll notice the difference, once you’ve cleaned your exhaust fan.

I’m sure the idea of cleaning that old, dirty exhaust fan sounds like a lot of fun to you, but it truly is a lot easier than you might think. All you need is a can of compressed air, the kind you use to clean your keyboard. Tilt the can up toward the exhaust fan and blow away all of the dirt. Just be sure to stand back, so you don’t a get a face full of falling debris.

  1. Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush

Another item you might be forgetting to clean is your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is probably one of the dirtiest items in your bathroom. Each time you brush your teeth, you’re adding to the bacteria, growing on your brush.black-88037_640

Furthermore, if you’re leaving your brush next to your sink and you’re not using some kind of toothbrush cover, you’re adding, even more, germs and bacteria to your brush. Each time you flush the toilet; germs and airborne particles are released into the air and will often land right on your toothbrush.

So as you can see, it’s very important to clean your toothbrush. The easiest way to clean your brush is too dip it in mouthwash; mouthwash is designed to remove germs and bacteria. Additionally, consider investing in a toothbrush cover or storing your brush somewhere besides next to your sink, to protect it from airborne particles.

  1. The Other Brush

Now that you’ve taken care of your toothbrush, it’s time to focus your attention on a different kind of brush. It’s no surprise that your toilet brush is crawling with germs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simply pour a little all-purpose cleaner over the brush, while it’s in the holder and store the brush until you need it again.

  1. Ditch Your Traditional Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Toilet bowl cleaners never seem to get your bowl clean enough. So, ditch the cleaner and head to your fridge! Coca-Cola works like sparkling magic on your bowl, and it’s a lot cheaper than most toilet cleaners.

7. DIY Showespray-316524_640r Cleaner

Speaking of ditching traditional cleaners, let’s go ahead and toss out that toxic smelling bathroom cleaner. Instead, try making your own cleaner by adding equal parts dish soap and white vinegar in a spray bottle. This stuff works and smells better than the bathroom cleaners you’re using too.

  1. Unclog Your Drain Effortlessly

If your drain is clogged you can pour half a box of baking soda and ½ a cup of vinegar down the drain, use a drain stop or rag to plug the drain and keep the mixture from overflowing the drain, wait 30-45 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain. This mixture works better than chemicals! You can repeat this process 2-3 times if necessary, but if this trick doesn’t work, it might be time to consult a professional.

Try these eight simple and cheap cleaning tips and watch your bathroom transform before your eyes.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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